Best Military Watch With GPS And A Built-In Compass Of 2023

When looking for the best military or survival watch, a built-in GPS and compass are a “must-have” features.

Both the Suunto Traverse Alpha and the new Garmin Instinct are my favorite military watches that include GPS, Compass and many more great tools for the survivalist, the hiker, the camper and the military guys.

Garmin Instinct - best Military watch with GPS

A new, low-cost military watch by Amazfit T-Rex, has joined the market and it looks like it’s going to be a big hit in 2023.

I know that these watches are rugged and bulky so for those of you who are seeking the best military/field watches for small wrists, I have researched it and made a list at the end of the article that you need to check out. 

With major advancements in tech every day, survival watches are leaning towards an all-in-one approach, rather than making you rely on multiple gadgets for the smallest of needs.

Among many of the key features that make up a great survival watch, having a fully functional GPS system is one that is gradually becoming a requisite.

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about Best 10 Watches To Wear With NATO Straps In 2023.

With our explorer bones kicking in, the need to travel and trek far and wide is getting higher by the day, and having an efficient GPS on at all times makes the whole journey a lot more convenient and enjoyable.

Best Military Watch with GPS And A Compass – Rugged And Smart

Now you must come across every other survival watch offering a GPS function but bear in mind that not all of these systems are as durable as they say.

Some perform the basic functions of a GPS and navigate your way during hiking, camping, or any extreme sport.

While others delve into the innovation a little deeper and offer advanced features like marking a shooting detection, marking points of interest along the way with fishing, hunting and hiking modes, and impressive topographic maps.

If you are someone inclined towards this trait of a survival watch, it is recommended that you invest in one that offers killer GPS services, along with the usual key features.

1. Garmin Instinct

Garmin announced a new smartwatch at the end of 2018 called Instinct that emphasizes durability: The watch is built to military standards and is capable of surviving extreme temperatures, Shocks, and diving to depths of up to 100 meters.

It has an anti-scratch glass cover reinforced by chemical compounds, which allows full visibility even in direct sunlight, and the watch body is made of a fiber-reinforced polymer.

The watch contains features such as GPS and GALILEO support, which allow for sending waypoints ahead of time for future route planning, including a feature called TracBack which allows the user to trace back in case he got lost.

In addition, the watch features a 3-axis compass, a barometer for height measurement and a sensor that tracks your heartbeat and allows you to monitor sleep, stress levels and activities such as running, biking, swimming, mountain climbing, and skiing. In addition, it can display notifications received on the phone.

Its battery is also extremely durable – it lasts 14 days according to the company, 16 hours when the GPS option is turned on and 40 hours in battery saving mode.

2. Suunto Traverse Alpha

The manufactures at Suunto have evidently upped their game with their Traverse Alpha variation of survival gear. Keeping in view the primal needs of an explorer, the watch fulfills all the basic functions of a durable survival watch, while being a major source of convenience and comfort on a journey of unforeseen adventures.


The watch comes equipped with a total rugged feel, as it was manufactured keeping a military aesthetic in mind. The face of the watch displays all the key features, while you are required to use the dials at the side to access advanced features.

It offers color options like green, black, and grey, but no option to opt for a leather or steel wristband. If you’re someone who isn’t a fan of nylon textile or silicone or want to score major style points as well as functionality, this watch may not be for you.

GPS Functionality

Along with having key features that every other survival watch has, what really makes the Suunto Traverse Alpha stand out is the array of advanced GPS-related functions it offers.

Not only does it allow users to track their path while running, but it also allows the wearer to mark animals and the hunting locations where they have fired their weapon. This function comes in use during camping and hunting and allows you to stealthily hunt your prey without losing track.

Moreover, it can also help you generate heat maps for your convenience in planning hikes and runs, by connecting to Suunto’s Movescount smartphone app.

In addition to that, the connection of the GPS is fast enough to be merely a few seconds, making this watch a must-have for all explorers reliant on GPS connectivity.


With so many impressive features on the plate, the Traverse Alpha may not come off as durable as other survival watches, but that is not the case. Equipped with scratch-resistant sapphire glass, and water-resistant levels of up to 10,000 meters in height, it surely sets benchmarks in terms of durability.

Seeing as how it was designed to keep military applications in mind, and caters to the needs of many extreme sports athletes as well, it can face pretty much any kind of extreme environment that comes in its way.

3. Amazfit T-Rex

Huami has decided to go against the stream and launch their most bombastic watch to date: Introducing the Amazfit T-Rex.

The new piece from Xiaomi’s partner who decided to separate forces and set out on her own independent road is built like a tank with waterproofness up to 50 meters / 5 atmospheres and compatibility with fresh or saltwater swimming operations – plus successfully completing 12 tests in the MIL-STD 810G military standard including extremely high and low temperatures and prolonged exposure to moisture and salinity.

The Amazfit T-Rex offers a 1.3-inch round Super AMOLED screen and a handsome 360 ​​× 360-pixel resolution, a Gorilla Glass 3 protective coating including a fingerprint reduction coating, including a built-in GPS receiver, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a built-in pulse gauge And a set of motion and position sensors to identify and track 14 different sporting activities.

A built-in 390mAh battery should allow about 20 days of operation in average outline (which includes a constant pulse check and daily running of positioning services for a short period of time), up to 66 basic watch operations and up to 20 hours of operation with a GPS receiver operating regularly.

The T-Rex comes with five masculine shades to choose from (khaki, black, dark blue, green and green in camouflage print and is expected to cost about 140 dollars.

If you are willing to give up the built-in GPS, then this watch will do an amazing job as a survival watch with a compass at less than half of the price of the Traverse Alpha.

4. Suunto Core

The award-winning Suunto CORE collects a variety of information that helps you find your way through the wildest places in the world.

The Suunto Core Field Watch Has The Following Features:

  • Altimeter: Altimeter that tracks altitude differences, up-to-date altitude, activity log to view activity performed.
  • Barometer: with a storm warning, forecasting/weather forecast, current barometric pressure and weather graph.
  • Compass: An accurate digital compass that characterizes SUUNTO as the first compass manufacturer – rotating ring, general direction, azimuth, deliberate deviation, Calibration is easy.
  • Depth meter: for diving use of up to 10 m, current depth display, and maximum depth.
  • Clock functions: Alarm clock, clock, extra clock, timer, sunrise and sunset hours.
  • Additional functions: button lock, built-in menu in 4 different languages.

Additional Features Of The Suunto Core:

  • Backlight + night mode setup
  • Backlight type: Electroluminescent display
  • Matrix view
  • User-friendly menu
  • Glass: Mineral Crystal
  • Operating temperatures -20 ° C – + 60 ° C / -5 ° F – + 140 ° F
  • Switch units meters, Celsius / Pete, Fahrenheit
  • Storage Temperature -30 ° C – + 60 ° C / -22 ° F – + 140 ° F
  • Water resistance 30m / 100ft with waterproof buttons

The Suunto CORE is available in a variety of styles and materials besides the version that I showed here.

Best Military/Field Watches For Small Wrists

The Military/Field watches are usually bulky and will not fit people with small wrists. I know that people are searching for good and reliable field watches that will fit their small wrist and therefore I have researched it and came up with this list.

These watches might not serve as great survival watches and won’t offer survival features like the watches above but they will serve great as a strong, sturdy, scratch and water-resistant and reliable watches for outdoor adventures.

All of them are available on Amazon so feel free to check them out.

List of the Top Military/Field Watches For People with a Small Wrist


Curiosity pushes us to look for new places, but the confidence to find our way encourages us to explore beyond the familiar orbit.

Detailed topographic maps in Suunto Movescount’s unique application (a free application) and navigation integration with Suunto Traverse’s GPS and GLONASS * systems will help you plan your travels and find your way around. The automatic use of bread crumbs along the way will help you to step back if necessary.

The strong structure and battery power of the Suunto Traverse Alpha watch will allow you to explore and travel for a long time.

As evident by the aforementioned features and a swarm of positive reviews, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is an impressive number that is reliable not only for regular use but an essential accessory to be accompanied with on all your thrilling adventures. And with its remarkable GPS navigation functionality, built-in digital compass, and advanced features, the high price seems justified enough.

My second recommendation, the Garmin instinct, is the type of case where a particular product reveals an exact match for its purpose.

On the face of it, it is an amazing watch, but it also has drawbacks. In the first phase, as a daily smartwatch, it is far from offering the plethora of Garmin’s luxury series, or even the features of other smartwatches.

There is an incoming call alert, notifications, Instagram updates, calendar reminders, email, and more.

In addition to its purpose-derived appearance – a durable watch with aggressive use is far from elegance and style.

On the other hand, for those who are not looking for the look or the usual uses of a smartwatch, but rather need a durable tool that does not need to think twice if it gets hit or has to survive in a hard work environment and regards its smartwatch and connectivity aspect as a bonus – it is a tool that does exactly what is expected of it.

And finally, if you are willing to give up the built-in GPS and save a lot of money than the Suunto Core is the best option for a survival watch with a built-in compass. 

I hope that I helped you with finding the best survival/Military watch with GPS and a Built-in Compass.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *